Dynamic Testing Solutions Blog

Identify Signs of Drug Addiction And Drug Abuse

Doug McLachlan - Thursday, December 01, 2011
If you are not sure about the possibility that someone you know may be abusing drugs, this may be of some help. Listed below are the most common drugs abused and the signs to look out for. Don’t, as many parents or spouses have told us, be caught completely unaware when small signs have gone unnoticed and a catastrophe occurs. The police knocking on the door or a phone call from a hospital are not the times to realize that someone has a drug addiction.
It is sometimes difficult to imagine that a loved one is using drugs and the signs of drug addiction can range from seemingly harmless lapses in judgment to involvement with law enforcement. Very often when clients go for treatment it is clear that there have been many warning signs, sometimes spanning years, which have simply been missed by the addict’s loved ones. Often if these signs had been noticed earlier the addict would have suffered fewer consequences from their drug use.
In all instances of substance abuse, watch for a tendency on the part of the abuser to refrain and shun conversation and face-to-face meetings with others. You are watching for behaviour that represents a somewhat dramatic change in character from previous experience. The signs of drug abuse and drug addiction can be and will be explained away by the person using the drugs.
Don’t be fooled. As painful as it may be, detecting the signs of drug abuse, learning about the different types of drugs and getting help can possibly save someone’s life.
If you notice any of these signs, don’t wait. Get Help! A drug addiction won’t go away by talking or wishing it away.
Call us for more information!
Warning Signs;
Prescription Drug Abuse
Drug Addict Mannerisms or Behaviour
- Acts intoxicated
- Slurred speech
- Stumbling gate
- Droopy eyes
- Un-warranted sleep episodes –fall asleep at dinner etc
- Listlessness
Drug Addict items around or hidden in the house, bedroom, etc.
- Bottles of prescription medicines, pills, blister packs

Signs of Cocaine, Crack Abuse and Addiction
Drug Addict Physical Appearance
- Glassy eyes
- Very very large pupils (hidden by sunglasses on occasion)
- A nose that appears raw and red (if they sniff the drug)
- Needle marks in arms, behind knees, or ankles
- Do they wear long sleeve shirts even in hot weather to cover their arms
- Scabs/burns on mouth, burn marks on fingers or arms
- Scabs on arms, face, legs from picking
- Teeth that are weak/broken
- Loss of weight
Drug Addict Mannerisms or Behaviour
- Erratic, restless, anxious behaviour, irritable
- Trouble sitting still or relaxing, nervous, aggressive
- Do they itch and scratch often picking at parts of their arms, legs, or face
- Long periods of no sleep
- After being up for extended periods of times will “crash” and sleep for extended periods of time
- Tends to move fast, often repeating the same action for hours (cleaning, fixing something)
- May have no appetite or interest in food
- Ramble in their conversation, jumping from one subject to the next
- Constantly sniffing, despite lack of cold or allergies
- Constantly licking lips, extremely thirsty
- May sweat profusely
- Sudden change in appetite or weight
Signs of Marijuana Abuse
Drug Addict Physical Appearance
- Irritated, bloodshot, red eyes
- Dazed or expressionless appearance
- Dry lips or “cotton mouth”
- Strong odour of burnt rope or grass on person or clothes
Drug Addict Mannerisms or Behaviour
- Walking around in a daze or euphoric stupor
- Lack of emotion, “whatever” attitude
- Staring out into space or at nothing
- May go into fits of laughter or laugh when there is nothing to laugh about.
- Putting clothes in wash immediately upon coming home
- Taking a quick shower before being around other
- Suddenly very hungry, “munchies”
Signs of Methamphetamine Abuse
Methamphetamine Addict Physical Appearance
- Dilated pupils and rapid, darting eyes
- Frequent sweating
- Tooth decay
- Skin lesions and frequent sores that take a long time to heal
- Weight loss
Drug Addict Mannerisms or Behaviour
- Obsessive, fidgety behaviour
- Repeatedly performing the same task over and over again.
- Constant, rambling conversation
- Wakefulness that lasts for days
- Absence from work or daily routine
- Depression during withdrawal stages
- Sleeping for days after coming down off meth
- Dangerous sexual promiscuity.
- Frustration that they can’t seem to focus or think
- Hallucinations, paranoia

'Bath Salts' Drugs Warnings

Doug McLachlan - Thursday, December 01, 2011
ScienceDaily (Oct. 13, 2011) — Urgently needed tests which could help identify the manufacturers of designer 'legal high' drugs are being developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The drugs, known by names such as 'ivory wave' and NRG-1" and sold labelled as bath salts, plant food and incense, mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy. Although these so-called 'designer drugs' can be dangerous, many have not yet been made illegal and are difficult to detect with current drug tests.



A means of potentially tracing the source of the raw materials, and consequently providing information as to who is making the 'bath salts,' is being developed by scientists at Strathclyde and The James Hutton Institute.

The bath salts drug can cause euphoria, paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. It often contains mephedrone, a synthetic compound structurally related to methcathinone, which is found in Khat -- a plant which, like mephedrone itself, is illegal in many countries.

The bath salts drug is labelled as being not for human consumption and is not illegal in the UK but its import has been banned. The term 'bath salts' is used by those who sell the drug as a way of circumventing legislation when supplying it.

The researchers developing tests for the drug are using a technique known as isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) to reveal the course of a drug's manufacture.

The research is being carried out by Dr Oliver Sutcliffe, at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Professor Niamh Nic Daeid and Dr Katy Savage at the Centre for Forensic Science in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, in collaboration with Dr Wolfram Meier-Augenstein at The James Hutton Institute.

Dr Sutcliffe said: "The legal status of designer drugs varies around the world but they present many dangers to users and these are borne out by the Home Office's decision to ban the import of 'bath salts.'

"The new method we have used has enabled us to work backwards and trace the substances back to their starting materials. IRMS measures the relative amounts of an element's different forms- it is successful because these relative amounts are transferred like a fingerprint through the synthesis of the drug."

In previous research, the Strathclyde team developed the first pure reference standard for mephedrone, as well as the first reliable liquid chromatography test for the substance, which could be run in a typical law enforcement lab.

The team has also developed a comprehensive screening method for 16 known legal high drug variants using conventional gas chromatographic analysis and are developing a semi- quantitative colourimetric test kit for legal highs which can be used by law enforcement at point of seizure, facilitating a more rapid response to these materials.

The project was presented at the recent 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which was held in Denver.

Bath Salts

Doug McLachlan - Saturday, June 04, 2011

Drug Czar Warns Against Taking 'Bath Salts' Drugs

 


White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske warned people Tuesday against taking the newest synthetic drugs, often marketed as "bath salts" and being sold legally on the Internet and in drug paraphernalia stores.
The powdered drugs are sold under such brand names as "Ivory Wave" or "Purple Wave." Kerlikowske said synthetic stimulants in them have made hundreds of users across the country sick already this year. A Mississippi sheriff's office has said the drugs are suspected in an apparent overdose death there.
"They pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of young people and anyone who uses them," Kerlikowske said in a written statement. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has received 251 calls related to "bath salts" so far this year, compared to 236 such calls to poison centers during all of 2010.
Kerlikowske said these stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure and heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions.
Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for Kerlikowske's office, said the drugs mimic the effects of cocaine, ecstasy, and LSD.
Kerlikowske's office convened a meeting of federal drug and health officials at the White House Tuesday to discuss their growing popularity. He was later briefed on that discussion, Lemaitre said.
The "bath salts" drugs, also sometimes labeled as plant food, contain the synthetic stimulants MDPV, or 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and mephedrone. Those chemicals are neither controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration nor approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.
No plans for federal regulation plans were announced Tuesday. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has drafted a bill that would add the chemicals to the list of federally controlled substances.
Hawaii, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota are considering legislation to ban the products. Several counties, cities, and local municipalities have also taken action to ban these products.
DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said users "are playing Russian roulette when you are dealing with this stuff."
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouz9ii-2Aqk]
Payne said the DEA is working with health officials to study abuse data and other information about the synthetic stimulants used in the "bath salts." For now, he said people should simply stay away from the drugs.
"Just because something is not illegal . does not mean it's safe," Payne said.
The "bath salts" are the latest synthetic drugs to be targeted by federal authorities. In November, the DEA announced its intention to use emergency authority to ban five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana products that were also sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet.
- Article from The Associated Press.

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